Markel Corp. Makes Fifth UBSH Stake Reduction


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Tom Gayner 's Markel Gayner Asset Management Corp. has reported its fifth miniscule share reduction to its Union First Market Bank ( UBSH ) stake. Its two latest transactions were reported Dec. 10 and 11 on GuruFocus Real Time Picks , costing the investment company 0.29 percent and 0.15 percent of its stake, respectively.

Markel first acquired Union First Market Bank in the first quarter of 2010, starting off with 3.5 million shares, at an average price of $13.09. The company did not touch its shares, however, until this year, when it made its first reduction of Union in November.

As its fifth installation to its reduction streak, Markel has gotten rid of almost 120,000 shares of its Union stake. Today, the stock is up almost 2 percent, trading at $15.51, close to its one-year high.

With a market cap of $401.2 million, headquartered in Richmond, Va., Union First Market Bankshares Corp. is the holding company for Union First Market Bank, as well as non-bank affiliates such as Union Investment Services Inc., Union Mortgage Group Inc. and Union Insurance Group Inc. It has 94 branches, as well as more than 150 ATMs throughout Virginia.

On Dec. 12, Union announced that its board of directors has authorized a share repurchase program, dealing with 750,000 of the company's common stock, whether in open market or privately-negotiated transactions. The press release announcing the news states that the program permits management to repurchase the shares "from time to time at management's discretion."

The repurchase program will last through Dec. 31.

With its earnings per share on a declining path, claiming an annual growth rate of -9.71 percent, Union remains with a dividend yield of 3.1 percent, according to 10-Year Financials . Its EBITDA growth is 27.6 percent for the last 12 months. Its annual revenue growth rate is 13.61 percent.

Gayner is the only Guru who currently has a holding of Union stock. Jim Simons sold out his stake in the third quarter.

Read more about Markel's previous Union stake reductions in the article, Tom Gayner Continues Tiny Reductions of Union First Market Bankshares.

Additional related articles can be found in GuruFocus archives. View the remainder of Tom Gayner's latest portfolio changes here, as well his undervalued stocks, top growth companies and high yield stocks.

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This article appears in: Investing

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